Lucy and I have both been under the weather this week – me with a cold, and Lucy with her umbrella. She, quite literally, loves to be “under the weather” – any opportunity to break out her ladybug umbrella. So when I awoke to a torrential downpour earlier this week, a puddle stomping morning for Lucy Tuesday seemed appropriate. Plus, we were down a car and it seemed a good day to stick close to home.
Lucy had her rain boots on before I could say puddle and we were off to explore the hood to see what new creatures came with the rains. We barely made it off of the front porch when Lucy noticed a beetle that had flipped upside down and was struggling to turn over. I wrote him off for dead, but Lucy insisted that if we helped to turn him “right up side” (her version of right side up), perhaps he could walk again. And so we began our day by rescuing Mr. Beetle by placing him sunny side up. Less than five steps later, and still on the porch, we discovered a frog nesting in one of our flowerpots, soaking in the cool, damp soil. After a brief conversation with La Rana, whom Lucy insisted was a girl, we finally made it onto the driveway. By then, the rain had stopped and the sun was blazing, but we carried on in search of muddy puddles.
Thanks to heavy rains, puddles were abundant. Lucy wondered allowed if any fish lived in the puddles. When I explained that it was unlikely because they would need to travel from a lake or an ocean or a river to get to the puddles, she pointed out that crabs accomplished this feat daily. And so we decided to check each and every puddle just in case there might be a fish (or a dolphin) because maybe, well, you just never know. When the puddles came up empty, Lucy began taking notice of how much water filled each hole and wanted to know why one boot was covered in puddles more than the other. I threw the question back at her and she surmised that it must be because one boot wasn’t as good of a swimmer as the other and therefore needed to stay in shallower water. I decided to forego the opportunity to teach about depth and rolled with the possibility that perhaps one boot just needed some swim lessons.
In between puddles, we scaled giant rocks and crossed rushing rivers and happened upon some friends that looked strikingly like us:
And so we danced with our shadows for a bit, waving hello and finally goodbye and set off in search of more “natures.” Lucy pointed out the billowing trees and questioned why they were moving. We determined that the howler monkeys were not close enough to swing in these branches and therefore, the movement must have been caused by either the zanate or the uraca (both birds common to Nicaragua). And then we happened upon this beauty roosting in the lush green leaves.
As the puddles dried in the scorching sun, we made our way back home, but not before Lucy identified some letters on the sign to our entrance and said hello to the neighbor’s dog.
Once home, Lucy was quick to shed her boots and requested an “art project,” a favorite pastime for us both. But I was beginning to run out of creative ideas (and materials) and so I did a quick Google search for preschooler art projects and found this recipe for homemade goop. It seemed perfect, as I even had a little bit of leftover food coloring. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize, until it was too late, that cornstarch and corn flour are not the same thing. We’d already begun to mix the mess and so I let Lucy roll with it because really, goop is fun, no matter the recipe. Instead of watching the properties shift from liquid to solid, as promised by the original recipe, we explored color mixing and watched blues and reds transform into none other but…purple! We made handprints and drew our names and shapes in the goop, too. Lucy delighted in the mess for far longer than I expected and even managed to keep the walls goop-free.
By the time we were done playing and cleaned up, it was time for lunch and so we ate gallo pinto and pollo with stained hands and headed up for nap.